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Q&A: Resolve Your Debt Lawsuit (May 3, 2023)

George Simons | June 20, 2023

George Simons
Co-Founder of SoloSuit
George Simons, JD/MBA

George Simons is the co-founder and CEO of SoloSuit. He has helped Americans protect over $1 billion from predatory debt lawsuits. George graduated from BYU Law school in 2020 with a JD-MBA. In his spare time, George likes to cook, because he likes to eat.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, file a Motion to Compel Arbitration, or settle the debt before going to court. Join our live webinars to ask your own questions about how to resolve a debt lawsuit.

Transcript begins here

I'm George. I'm one of the founders of Solo Suit. We help people resolve debt lawsuits. And some good news here. About 70% of the time, we help people win. We give people a victory in their lawsuits. That's great.

Without SoloSuit, people win less than 10% of the time in debt collection lawsuits. We consider a win to be a few things. One, if your case just gets dismissed outright, two, you might settle your lawsuit, or three, you might buy yourself more time in the lawsuit so that you can declare bankruptcy or something else along those lines.

Debt sharks exploit people, as you're finding out in this process. Let's take the real life example of Raquel. She's sued for a $1,000 debt. She wants to respond to the lawsuit. She finds out she needs to pay an attorney, like, $3,000 just to respond. She doesn't have money for that, so she tries doing it on her own.

She finds out she has to make the Answer document, which is difficult. She needs to figure out the mailing address for the court. She needs to find out and calculate the filing fee. She sets up a printer. She needs to use snail mail probably to mail that document into the court, or she has to go down to the court in person, and the 21-day deadline is coming up on her.

Oftentimes people aren't able to respond. In the case of Raquel, without SoloSuit, her debt might balloon into, like, a $3,600 judgment practically overnight. Thankfully, we help people avoid that, and you can resolve your debt lawsuit with SoloSuit.

We help you answer the lawsuit. We help you compel arbitration if you're in, like, a credit card debt lawsuit. And we can also help you settle the debt.

All right, those are some of the basics. I think everyone's hearing me okay now, so that's great. Thanks for staying with me. Definitely going to remember to unmute next time, I think. With that, feel free to start adding some questions into the chat.

If you have questions, just type them into the chat on YouTube, and then we'll start responding to those. We have Hannah from Team SoloSuit on here that's going to be responding in the chat also. I will answer questions as they come in. I'm not seeing anything in the chat yet.

Okay, it looks like some questions are coming in.

Q&A Section begins here

Does SoloSuit work?

Viewer Question: I won my suit yesterday. Dismissed with prejudice. I cannot be more stoked and thankful.

George: Excellent work. Well done. Glad that we could be of assistance for you in that regard. We are stoked for you. Hope you do something awesome with all that money you saved by winning your lawsuit. That's great.

What are the steps to answer a lawsuit?

Viewer Question: What are the steps for answering a lawsuit?

George: All right, steps for answering a lawsuit. Number one, you have to respond to each claim in the Complaint and Summons. Number two, you have to assert your affirmative defenses. And number three, you got to file the Answer before the deadline in court, and all of this puts you in a good position to settle.

So a little bit more detail on each of these steps. When you're sued in court, in most states, you're going to receive a Complaint and Summons document in the mail already. What you need to do is you need to respond to those by filing a written Answer document. It's a formal legal document in court.

Nobody cares if you make a phone call to the law firm. Nobody cares if you send them just a regular letter. An Answer document is neither of those things. An Answer document isn't an answer to the collector. An Answer document is a formal, capital A, Answer document that has to be formatted properly, has to be filed in court. It's like the title of the document. It's confusing because courts are confusing. That's the answer document that you got to do.

In the Answer document, you do a few things. You got to lay out the contents of the lawsuit, and then you got to respond to every allegation in the Complaint. So the Complaint is going to have numbered paragraphs. In the Answer document, you have numbered paragraphs as well, and you respond to every statement in the Complaint.

And then the next thing you do in the Answer document is you have your affirmative defenses. Very important thing—a lot of free forms online, a lot of court forms out there—they don't actually have the affirmative defenses. We make sure that we get those in there in our SoloSuit document.

And then you got to file it in the court. If you run a little bit late, don't worry too much. SoloSuit does our best to file real quick, but it can take some time, and usually courts are actually fairly lenient to accept the document that's filed a little bit late.

We got some other questions here stacking up, so I'm going to go ahead and get into the questions.

Watch the following video to learn more about how to draft and file an Answer to a debt lawsuit:

What happens at a virtual pre-hearing for a credit card debt lawsuit?

Viewer Question: What happens on a virtual pre hearing credit card debt scenario?

George: Great. All right, a couple of things to know here. What happens in a virtual pre hearing credit card debt scenario? So oftentimes how a case progresses, you get a Complaint and Summons, you file an Answer document in court, and the collector might file some additional documents that you need to respond to in court. SoloSuit, unfortunately, doesn't help you out responding to those yet. Or you might just have a hearing or something scheduled in court, depending on the state.

A hearing is pretty much the same idea as a trial. Most of these lawsuits don't go before a jury. They go before a judge. Sometimes you can pay extra money to go before a jury, but usually it's just going to go before a judge. That's what a hearing is. A hearing is kind of synonymous with a trial.

Oftentimes you're talking about a pre hearing, so that's probably like a pretrial hearing or like a pretrial conference or something along those lines. Usually what happens there is both parties have to show up. It's going to be you, the attorney, the judge.

The judge oftentimes will say something like, do you guys want to move forward with this lawsuit? You might say yes. He'll say, have you guys tried to settle yet? You might say, no. He says, if you haven't settled, then take some time outside in the hallway to discuss a settlement offer or something along those lines. Then if you can't settle, then it might proceed to an actual hearing. And he'll put like an actual hearing on the schedule for a month or so or maybe a year in advance. That's the general idea.

Since this is virtual, you're going to be joining a video call system of some sort. Most courts use WebEx, which is a little bit less common video calling tool, but a lot of them use Zoom. Usually they're going to be WebEx or Zoom. The court website might hopefully have some info about it.

You'll probably want to download whatever video conference software you need beforehand and review any rules, or basically try to find out whatever you need from your court. It just depends on each court. Probably try to contact the court, get some info from them. So there you go. That's the general idea of what happens on a virtual pre hearing.

You also mentioned that it's credit card debt. Another thing to keep in mind here is credit card debt. Credit card debt oftentimes is bought by a debt buyer. So you might have the original creditor. It might have been like Barclays Bank. Barclays bank might have sold it to Midland Funding. Midland Funding is a debt buyer. Usually what most defendants in these cases do and how they win is they'll say, okay, the burden of proof is on the collector, and the collector can't prove that I actually owe the debt, therefore I should win this lawsuit because they don't have the proper documentation showing that I actually owe this debt. That's the common scenario with credit card debt.

Okay, getting into some more questions. We got lots piling up here.

How do I prepare for a pre-trial for a debt collection lawsuit?

Viewer Question: I have a pretrial coming up. What is the best way to prepare?

George: All right, Hannah, maybe you can add our video on preparing for court into the chat copy. We have, like, a great it's probably like a 20 minutes long video talking about all the ways to prepare for court.

Main thing is get all the documentation you can on the debt, bring it with you to court. Get all your records right. If you already paid off the debt, make sure you can show that in your records from your accounting or the balance and the statements on the account, et cetera. Bring all of that. Look nice. Show up in court, be on time.

Don't get pulled over for speeding on your way to the court. I talked to one lady who had that happen, unfortunately, a week or two ago. Definitely want to leave early. Try to get to the courthouse on time.

If you're in Florida, you can actually use our pilot service where you can pay for an attorney to show up in court for you. So that's great.

When is the best time to submit a debt settlement letter?

Viewer Question: How long do I wait before submitting a settlement letter?

George: Great question, Andrew. Great question. Generally speaking, we say that people can send an offer to settle pretty much, like, right after filing an Answer. It doesn't matter too much in what order you do or the timing. The important thing in my mind is to do both of them.

You can get on our website and make an offer through SoloSettle. The offer is pretty much instantaneous. As soon as you hit the submit button on SoloSettle, we'll send an email with the offer to the collector, and we've seen good results either way.

Sometimes people will send the settlement offer first, and then they'll have an Answer filed a little bit later, and they can get a good settlement. Sometimes they file an Answer first, and then they make an offer to settle. It doesn't seem like it matters really that much. The important thing is to do both of those things. You want to file an Answer and you want to make an offer to settle.

If it were me, I'd probably file. I'd fill out the Answer document on the website, and then immediately after requesting and purchasing the Answer we filed, I would then go over to SoloSettle, and I'd make an offer, and I'd click submit. That's what I’d do. You probably don't want to wait more than, like, 30 days to send an offer to settle.

Settle with SoloSettle

Make an Offer

What if I don’t have enough money to settle my debt?

Viewer Question: We have responded and denied everything. Do we then call them to settle? What if we don't have the money to settle?

George: Nice work. Denied, deny, deny, as they say. Okay, another good question. So, SoloSuit recently released a tool called SoloSettle, which is designed to help people settle their own debts on their own. So you can use our software. It's at

And you can just fill out a couple of questions, then make an offer. You can tell us how much you want to offer on the debt, and then we'll relay that to the collector for you and hopefully get that settled. Right now, we just do lump sum payments. So if you're being sued for, like, $2,000, you can make a lump sum payment offer of $1,000, and hopefully the collector will accept it.

The lump sum has to be paid within 90 days, so that does give you three months to get the money together. We don't do monthly payments, payment plans or anything like that.

You're also always welcome to settle on your own. Usually the most straightforward way to do that is to make a phone call. If you can, I would do it by email, because that evens the playing field a little bit. Rather than negotiating with a professional negotiator on the phone, then you're just kind of going asynchronously by email, which is a little bit easier to do.

And if you are settling directly with the collector, it's very likely that they'll offer you a payment plan so you can make monthly payments. That's a pretty common thing to do. We just don't support that on SoloSettle yet.

So if you need monthly payments, you're welcome. Just try to settle with them directly.

What happens when the plaintiff responds to my Answer?

Viewer Question: I used SoloSuit to answer questions sent by the plaintiff on the Complaint and Summons. Now they've sent me a plaintiff's discovery document after I responded to my discovery plan. What do I need to do to act on this?

George: So, Michelle, it sounds like you received the Complaint and Summons, or maybe a petition and citation if you're in Texas or something, and then you filed the Answer, and then they sent you a discovery document, and you're wondering how to respond to discovery.

I'm not exactly sure what a discovery plan is, personally. Not sure if that's, like, a universal term. I haven't heard it before. You're asking particularly, do I need to act on this? Probably. Usually, how court case goes is, one party files a document, then the other party files a document, and then if it's a big case, there's a hearing to talk about the two documents that each party filed.

If one party doesn't file a document in response to the other party's documents, then the party that filed first will get whatever they wanted, whatever they asked for, right. So that means that if the plaintiff filed a Motion for Discovery and then you don't respond, like, if they filed a Request for Admissions and then you don't respond to that, then probably all the statements in the request for admissions will be considered admitted, and you really don't want that.

So you want to make sure you respond. Unfortunately, SoloSuit doesn't have additional documents for that. But you can be your best guess. You can take a look at our blog. We have a lot of good resources on there, and hopefully that will help you out.

Does debt consolidation always work?

Viewer Question: I've been working with a debt consolidation company, and one bank settled two of their cards but want to sue on a third.

George: You're with the debt consolidation company. Sounds like the consolidation company has settled two accounts with one bank, but that same bank has a third account that they're planning on suing for. That's a really common situation for our customers.

A lot of our customers come to us from debt consolidation companies. So basically, if you're in a debt consolidation company and on one of your accounts, you get a lawsuit, you can just use SoloSuit to respond. You just use the Answer document to respond. That gives the debt consolidation company extra time to try to continue settling the lawsuit.

Unfortunately, a lot of debt consolidation companies don't have a law firm backing them up, so if you get sued, they can't do anything for you. A lot of them actually refer people to us. Some of the bigger ones, like Freedom Debt Relief, have their own, in-house law firm or something along those lines that helps and protects you against these things.

What if I get sued in the wrong state?

Viewer Question: Pennsylvania has a shorter statute of limitations than Ohio, five years versus six. Would this be if they venue shopping?

George: Interesting point here. So you're saying you want to move the lawsuit from one state to another, then you want to make a request for a venue change. That's certainly an appropriate thing to do. I mean, oftentimes real lawyers and in big cases will be moving lawsuits around. That's oftentimes.

The first issue that is disputed is, like, the venue. So if a case is in state court, they'll try to move it to federal court. If it's in one state, then they'll try to move it to another state, et cetera. And that can go on for quite a long time.

I think you do have to file a request for a change of venue of some sort. And the venue it sounds like you want to change the venue because the statute of limitations is more favorable in a different venue. So that's not exactly the right way to think about it.

In a case, the venue has to be determined as well as the applicable law. So in theory, you could try a case in Illinois and apply Pennsylvania law a little bit less common. But if the venue is determined to be Pennsylvania, it doesn't necessarily mean that the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania law is the one that applies. It's probably going to be the one that applies where you took out the debt or have debt most of the time. I'm not exactly sure about how that's applied, but that would be the case.

Like, if you got a credit card in Pennsylvania, probably the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania that's going to apply. That's definitely something like, you probably need to talk to an attorney to really figure out. That's a little bit of a nuanced idea, but certainly you can try moving, changing the venue.

How does SoloSuit work?

Viewer Question: Just want to say thank you for your service. It's wonderful. My wife is in the middle of being sued by a couple of credit card companies to avoid default judgments, and were used your service to file a response.

George: Great, Jay, happy to hear it. Thanks so much for the kind words. The whole team is happy to hear it. Definitely hope you win your case. If you haven't made an offer to settle yet and you think you might want to, you can go over to SoleSettle, make an offer. If you also think you should just win the lawsuits, you can tough it out and hope for a w.

How do I use the statute of limitations to win my debt lawsuit?

Viewer Question: I have one account in particular, that was opened in Texas and charged off in 2019. I relocated to Florida, where the statute of limitations is five years. A lawsuit was filed against me in Florida. Is this legal?

George: Okay, let's jump into that here a little bit. Basically, you're just saying that you had an account in Texas and then you moved to Florida, and you're sued in Florida. Yeah, I mean, everything about this seems legal initially to me. Again, I'm not an attorney here, but I'm not sure exactly what's not adding up.

I guess what often happens is someone will have a debt, a credit card in one state. They move, they get sued in the state that they move to. Sometimes they get sued in the old state. Both can be a painful situation, honestly. Like determining which jurisdiction the lawsuit should be in, which venue it should be in, can be a pretty tricky, tricky matter.

I think most people would prefer to be sued in the state that they actually live in because otherwise they might have to travel to the other state, which can be pretty painful.

The statute of limitations may have expired. It just depends. The statute of limitations starts ticking from the time that you last made a payment on the account. So in this case, if you made a payment in 2019, that's only been, like, four years, maybe because it's 2023. But if you made a payment last in 2014, then, yeah, the statute of limitations probably did expire.

However, an important thing to note is that even if the statute of limitations has expired, it's up to you to bring that up and point that out in your Answer document. Just because the statute of limitations has expired doesn't mean that they can't sue you for it. It means that you have to bring it up as a defense in the lawsuit.

So if you don't respond to a lawsuit and the statute of limitations has expired, then nobody cares. Like, the judge isn't the referee. He's not going to look into it for you. You have to file an Answer to notify the court that the statute of limitations has expired. All right? And with the statute of limitations, if it has expired, it is like a bulletproof defense. A very good defense. So you definitely want to bring it up if it has expired.

What happens when your account is charged off?

Viewer Question: What do you do if the company stopped collecting money from your account, then writes it off and you get a Summons?

George: Yeah, it's a pretty common situation. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by stop collecting money from an account. That means, like, you had an auto pay set up, and then they just stopped the auto pay. Then they sued you because you weren't paying. And then that's certainly a fact that can be brought up in the lawsuit, in a hearing or in discovery, not in the Answer document.

But generally when you get a Summons, you also get a Complaint and you just want to respond by filing the Answer document in court. That's the basics.

You can use SoloSuit to file an Answer document. You want to respond by the deadline. You want to get that done. Angela the statute of limitations in Texas is four years, by the way. We have a statute of limitations calculator on

I think if you search, like, statute of limitations calculator and SoloSuit, the blog post there will come up with the calculator that has all the latest statute of limitations laws in it.

Statute of Limitations Calculator

Select your state.

Choose the debt type.

Select the last day you made a payment.

The Satute of Limitations

This calculator is for educational purposes only.

You might want to double check yourself. I don't remember the Texas statute of limitations offhand. So if the statute of limitations expired in one jurisdiction, you're being sued in a different jurisdiction where it hasn't expired. It's an interesting question. Right? I think normally a lawyer would file an Answer for you, and in that Answer, they'll make the affirmative defense saying that statute limitations has expired.

And then in the hearing, you can kind of work that out and figure it out whether or not it actually has expired or not. But you want to bring it up in the Answer document, because if you don't bring it up in the Answer document, you can't bring it up later.

Is it too late to file a Motion to Compel Arbitration?

Viewer Question: Is it too late to file to compel arbitration if the opposing party has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in Florida? SoloSuit responded to the original sentence.

George: Okay, so it sounds like a Motion for Summary Judgment was filed in your case in Florida, so that's not a good thing. Right? So if the plaintiff, the collector, files for Motion for Summary judgment, what they're saying is that they are asking the judge to give them a summary judgment against you, meaning that you would lose the case.

They're asking the judge to say the plaintiff wins automatically. The plaintiff wins before there's even a case because the defendant doesn't have a case. So that's not good. So what you want to do, and this happens a bit. What you want to do, though, is respond by filing a counter motion or a motion opposed to the Motion for Summary Judgment, saying that you're asking the judge to rule in your favor because you do have a case and pretty much all these debt collection cases.

The judge should rule in the favor of the nonmoving party of the defendant in this situation, requesting there is no summary judgment. Because in my mind, if you're contesting the case, you're saying that the plaintiff can't prove it, then the plaintiff needs to prove it, and there shouldn't be a summary judgment. So you definitely want to respond to the summary judgment.

You might want to file also a memo memorandum in support of the motion opposed to the Motion for Summary Judgment and not documents that we do. But you can only find out some good information online about that, and you can get a file in court.

It's not too late to file a Motion to Compel Arbitration. You can file a Motion to Compel arbitration pretty much anytime before judgment. Could be a good move in your situation if your credit agreement has an arbitration clause in it. If it's a credit card, you can look it up on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They have a database of credit card agreements, and you can check that out there.

Check out the following video to learn more about how a Motion to Compel Arbitration can help you win your debt lawsuit:

How long do I have to respond to the plaintiff's discovery document in my debt lawsuit?

Viewer Question: How long do I have to respond to the plaintiff's discovery document? The document does not indicate

George: Good question. You can try calling your court, ask clerk how long you have to respond. You can try looking up your state's rules of civil procedure. Ultimately, that's where the answer is. So you search, like, rules of civil procedure for your state and then look up discovery or timelines.

Usually it's going to be pretty similar to the time frame to file an Answer document. So it might be like 30 days or 20 days. Generally you want to respond as quickly as you can.

If I denied owing the debt in my Answer, when can I submit a settlement letter?

Viewer Question: If I denied the amount of the medical bills, do I wait until they send me the bills breakdown before I submit the settlement letter?

George: Yeah, it's kind of up to you. Certainly a fine move to wait for them to prove it and show you actually how much you owe. Also, if you just want to get it figured out earlier, you can make a settlement offer now using SoloSettle.

What is sewer service?

Viewer Question: They knew where I lived, but she was not to sue me until I moved.

George: It sounds like the Collector is trying to do sewer service where they serve you at your old address, knowing that you won't be able to get the lawsuit from there. It's a pretty messed up thing, but the best thing to do is to file an Answer and then, like, allege improper service.

If you send a settlement offer, are you admitting that you owe the debt?

Viewer Question: If you send a settlement letter, aren't you basically saying you owe the debt?

George: No, not exactly. Some states have, like, nuanced laws. Most of the time. If you offer to settle, it's not going to actually be used against you in court. If it continues going to court, people can settle for a wide variety of reasons.

Settlement isn't necessarily an indicator of guilt or liability. You can settle for whatever reason you want. So someone might settle because they have a lot of money and they're being sued and they don't want to deal with lawsuits. They might just settle even though they aren't liable at all.

What if I can’t afford to pay off my unsecured loan?

Viewer Question: What if I don't have enough to pay back the unsecured loans of 15K?

George: That's a real situation. You might want to get onto a payment plan with the Collector. You might want to try to settle. Most of the cases on SoloSettle so far have settled for 50% to 60% of the total amount of the debt. Some 15K. You might be able to get down to eight K, which would be a great deal. And that's the situation there.

Can I add my debt to a debt relief program after settling?

Viewer Question: Once we have settled, can we then add the debt to a debt relief program?

George: Interesting, if you're already enrolled in the debt relief program, they might be able to take care of that for you. I guess. I'm not sure why you would add it into a debt relief program. I think you probably just want to make payments directly to the Collector at that point, and then you might want to refinance the amount of the settlement. Maybe most of the time the collectors are going to. Require you to pay it pretty quickly. Usually they try to get you to pay it within 30 days. We negotiate for 90 days on settlements. Those are some thoughts on that.

If my car is taken back and sold, is that considered a payment on the account?

Viewer Question: I had a car loan, and the car was voluntarily given back and was sold. The company is considering it a payment on the account for me, is that correct?

George: So, if you had an auto loan and the car was returned and then sold, in theory, that revenue from selling the car should be applied to paying off the loan. All these loans can get pretty weird, though, sometimes. Certainly seen positions where cars sold or repossessed, but not applied to the loan, you're still probably going to be on the hook for the interest in the loan and the remainder of the loan after the sell of the car. So that's kind of a situation on the auto loan.

How does SoloSuit helps its customer respond to debt lawsuits?

Viewer Question: How do you help your customers avoid making admissions in their Answer response document?

George: Great question, Audrey. When people are concerned about that, they usually end up buying the premium package. Right? So the premium package has an attorney review. The attorney will review the document, and then basically we'll point out, determine whether or not something should be admitted or denied in an answer document there.

All right, I think that's pretty much all we have time for today to do these webinars pretty much weekly, so probably be back next week, Wednesday, same time. If there's another time that you'd rather do, just let us know. Send us an email. Thanks for coming. Hope all of you guys win at SoloSuit. We are rooting for you guys. Rooting for all of you.

You can know that you always have someone in your corner with SoloSuit.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

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Not sued yet?

Use our Debt Validation Letter.

Out Debt Validation Letter is the best way to respond to a collection letter. Many debt collectors will simply give up after receiving it.

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It only takes 15 minutes.

And 50% of our customers' cases have been dismissed in the past.

"Finding yourself on the wrong side of the law unexpectedly is kinda scary. I started researching on YouTube and found SoloSuit's channel. The videos were so helpful, easy to understand and encouraging. When I reached out to SoloSuit they were on it. Very professional, impeccably prompt. Thanks for the service!" - Heather

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